Lawyers investigate as Polycom CEO quits after expense “irregularities” revealed

By Andrew Collins
Thursday, 25 July, 2013

Lawyers investigate as Polycom CEO quits after expense “irregularities” revealed

Polycom boss Andrew Miller has resigned after the company uncovered “irregularities” in his expense submissions. Following the news of Miller’s resignation, several law firms have launched their own investigations into Polycom or its staff.

Polycom revealed the resignation several paragraphs into an earnings announcement on Tuesday.

The company said Miller resigned as CEO, president and a board member last Friday after the board’s audit committee found “certain irregularities” in his expense submissions.

Miller has “accepted responsibility” for the irregularities, the company said.

But Polycom did not expand on what those irregularities were, instead saying that “The amounts involved did not have a material impact on the Company’s current or previously reported financial statements for any period, nor did they involve any other employees.”

Kevin Parker, who joined the Polycom board in January 2005 and became chairman in May 2013, has been appointed as interim CEO.

Parker said: “Andy Miller’s resignation under these circumstances is disappointing and should not be viewed as a reflection of the financial integrity of the company, the strength of our team or our plans for the future. … we thank Andy for his four years of service.”

In a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, Polycom said that on the previous day it had entered into a separation agreement and release with Miller.

According to the agreement, Miller will continue on at Polycom as a non-executive employee - available to the company to provide transition services - until 15 August 2013. He will receive a lump sum cash payment of US$500,000, less applicable withholdings.

Miller will also receive his bonus for the first half of 2013; a lump sum cash payment equal to 12 months’ worth of reimbursement under the US’ COBRA health program; preservation of pre-existing indemnification rights by Polycom; and up to US$25,000 to help cover attorneys’ fees incurred in reviewing and negotiating the agreement.

He’ll also get to keep two company-issued laptops, an iPad and a mobile phone.

The lawyers

Following the news of Miller’s exit, several law firms have launched investigations into Polycom or its staff.

Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, a corporate litigation boutique, said it is investigating potential claims on behalf of purchasers of Polycom securities. The firm said it’s looking into whether Polycom and its executives violated US federal securities laws.

Johnson & Weaver, a shareholders’ rights law firm, said it has commenced an investigation into whether certain officers and directors of Polycom violated state or federal laws.

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